What to do if you’re a victim of a gift card scam

If you’re a victim of a scam involving Play Gift Cards, here’s what you can do and need to know.

Report the scam

If you’re a victim of a gift card scam, report the scam to your local police department.You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission.

Next, report the gift card scam to Google. If you report the scam, it may help you and others from similar suspicious activities in the future.

Report the gift card scam to Google

Replace a lost or stolen gift card

Google Play gift cards cannot be resold, exchanged, or transferred for value, so we will not be able to issue you a new gift card. 

Check the Google Play Gift Card Terms of Service to learn more about the limitations for gift cards.

Unfortunately, Google Play Gift Cards are also not redeemable for cash, not reloadable, and non-refundable, unless required by law. 

How to know if you're being scammed

Someone might be trying to scam you if they ask you to use a Google Play gift card to buy and share the code to pay for something outside Google Play.

  • A scammer calls, sometimes pretending to be from the IRS or other government agency. The scammer says that you owe money for taxes, bail money, debt collection, and more. They’ll tell you that to avoid getting arrested, or getting your SSN, other personal identification information, or physical items taken, you have to pay them using gift cards.
  • A scammer claims to be a family member in trouble, an attorney, or other representative of your family member. The scammer tells you that they need to be paid in gift cards in order to remedy the situation and may deter you from contacting the family member to verify the claim. Don’t believe them and never buy gift cards for them or provide them with any gift card codes.

These examples only cover some types of scams. Scammers are always changing the ways they trick people. If anyone asks you for a code, it could be a scam.

Check what a gift card looks like

Avoid gift card scams 

  • Never use Google Play gift cards to pay for taxes, bail money, or anything outside Google Play. Google Play gift cards can only be used to make purchases on Google Play.
  • Never share the code on the back of the gift card.

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